Calling all members of the New York/New Jersey Irish and Irish American community:
A 5 year-old boy named Jake is in need of a bone marrow transplant, and we’re told by his Irish American parents Kimberly Cluff and Bob Larkin that the most likely match for Jake may come from someone of Irish descent. Friends and supporters in the Hoboken community have rallied and organized a bone marrow drive to help find a match. Larkin lived in Hoboken for many years. The whole family is in Wisconsin at the Childrens Hospital.
On Thursday, July 26, there’s an event 6-1o p.m. at Willie McBride’s (616 Grand St.) in Hoboken, NJ, where you’ll get a complimentary pint for undergoing a cheek swab, which will help identify potential matches. There’s also a booth set up at St. Ann’s Italian Festival (704 Jefferson Street, Hoboken) July 20 – 26 this week during the same time frame, 6-10 p.m., just a block away from Willie McBride’s.
Irish Central Reporter Kerry O’Shea wrote an excellent article about Jake’s life threatening dilemma:
Kimberly and Bob noticed something was wrong with Jake earlier this year when he was getting frequent nosebleeds and was bruising easily. One day when walking to school, Jake said to his parents that he was just too tired to go on. Kimberly and Bob knew something was wrong. Jake was then diagnosed with Severe Aplastic Anemia. Kimberly explained how the doctors aren’t positive how he got it, but believe it may be traced back to a “touch of the flu” the whole family had in December.
Severe Aplastic Anemia is an autoimmune disease that causes Jake’s bone marrow to stop working. It is very, very rare as only 3 in 1 million Americans are diagnosed with it every year.
Kimberly explains how Jake’s body isn’t making a lot of blood, and has thus had several blood transfusions. She said that each transfusion, which provides Jake with a few pints of blood, takes about 6-8 hours in the hospital. This, she adds, is only a temporary fix as the body can only take so much transfused blood.
The hunt is now on to find Jake a suitable match for a bone marrow donation. Jake’s parents are searching within the Irish community, both here and abroad, to find a match, as most of Jake’s genetic makeup is Irish and his doctors believe the best shot at finding a match would be within that genetic pool.
If you’d care to learn more, feel free to reach out to Lori Perbeck at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations can be made at: BetheMatch.org
Stop by St. Ann’s Festival tonight or tomorrow night and join the registry, or come by Willie McBride’s any time 6-10 p.m. THIS THURSDAY, July 26 and get a pint on the house for signing up!